The privacy debate continued yesterday on CBC’s the Q: Social Media – what does it mean for the confidentiality of your personal information? People consciously choose to share opinions, pictures, employment, interests and more on Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and the like. This isn’t at all bad; given that those sharing have nothing to hide and/or are not afraid to be airing themselves of whatever in what is an obviously public sphere. Existing in an open net-society means a level of trust is a given, and judging by the discretion shown by most of the people I follow, there isn’t much that we don’t find worth the risk in sharing.
If you’ve ever had a problem, you know that getting it off your chest is the best medicine. With the right level of free speech online, niche opinions are able to find like-minded peers across the globe, creating a lovely patchwork of diversity across borders. Flickr and their Creative Commons legend allows photographers to share their images for non-commercial use, networks like Patients Like Me connect people that are suffering from specific illnesses, while Linkedin turns your biz rolodex into something far greater, benefitting many to no end. The backlash against directed advertising is rendered null as those utilizing the media begin to see a world shaped exactly for them.
The uses of Social Media are infinite: what Rachel Sterne is doing as Chief Digital Officer for New York City showcases just one more possibility: building a more efficient, transparent and malleable government through the creation of SM accounts for various political departments.
I’m all for it!